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The Oncopole, CQDM, Diazon and Mitacs announce the creation of a prize of excellence for graduate students in cancer research in memory of Professor Gordon Shore
The Oncopole, CQDM, Diazon and Mitacs announce the creation of a prize of excellence for graduate students in cancer research in memory of Professor Gordon Shore

20 November 2018

The Oncopole, CQDM and Diazon with the collaboration of Mitacs, are pleased to announce the creation of the Gordon Shore Prize to pay tribute to the remarkable accomplishments of Professor Shore in the field of cancer research. In doing so, CQDM, Diazon and Oncopole, with the collaboration of Mitacs, will endow the new Gordon Shore Prize with an initial contribution of 24 000 $ to support a privileged access for talented new graduates toward their first work experience in life sciences industry. Taking part in the launch of the Gordon Shore Prize, the Oncopole demonstrates its commitment to supporting entrepreneurship training for cancer researchers and students in Quebec.

Gordon Shore was an exceptional scientist who dedicated his career to cancer research. Internationally known for his research on cell survival and apoptosis mechanisms, he was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University and member of the Rosalind & Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre. Professor Shore was not only an outstanding scientist but also an accomplished entrepreneur. In 1998, he leveraged his research knowledge and co-founded Gemin X Pharmaceuticals to advance his first novel drug candidate to a successful clinical proof-of-concept for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. In parallel, a second novel compound was identified and in-licensed, advancing from preclinical to clinical stage before the sale of the company in 2011. Combining his research and commercial development experience, in 2010 Professor Shore, together with his colleagues Anne Roulston, Jerry Pelletier, William Muller, Nahum Sonenberg and Michel Tremblay raised funds from CQDM and Genome Quebec to build an integrated functional genomic platform. This technology exploits genome-wide approaches focused on synthetic lethality and personalized medicine, resulting in the Laboratory for Therapeutic Development. This platform has generated the knowledge and tools that helped Professor Shore to elucidate the clinical path forward for drug candidates. In 2013, Professor Shore co-founded and became the Chief Scientific Officer of Diazon Pharmaceuticals Inc. where, together with his team at the Laboratory for Therapeutic Development, they discovered the mechanism of action of a potent anti-tumor molecule currently under study for the treatment of different types of cancers.

Gordon Shore was not only an exceptional scientist and a successful entrepreneur, also a man of honour and passion that was admired by his students and colleagues alike. Sadly, Gordon passed away on September 7, 2018 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.

“Prof. Shore’s career is a clear example of a successful bridge between academic research and industrial development. Through this prize, Oncopole aims to support the next generation of scientist to pick up the mantle and push Quebec at the forefront of cancer research.” says Maxime Dumais, acting director at Oncopole.

The Gordon Shore Prize will be awarded to new graduates whose Master’s or PhD’s theses demonstrated their excellence in cancer research. The funds will support training in the research industry and will facilitate the transition of new graduates from academia to industry. The recipients will be selected through a Quebec-wide competition launched at the start of 2019. The selection criteria and the type of training will be detailed in the call for proposal. The winners will be announced in the Spring 2019. To receive the call for proposal, please contact Naëla Janmamode (njanmamode@cqdm.org).